10,000 memories in Chelsea
Between the 13th and 15th of September, 2019, we delivered a survey of the Burial Ground of The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The aims of the project were twofold. Firstly, we wished to organise a heritage based activity for the in-pensioners and secondly, to record what is still visible on the headstones, given that much of the writing has faded over the years due to the weather and pollution.
We thoroughly enjoyed working with the in-pensioners who participated in all activities including recording the legible text on the headstones and adding it to the computer database. We were hugely grateful to 502 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Force Protection Engineering), experts in non-invasive surveying techniques, who carried out a topographical survey using a Leica TCRP 1205+ on arbitrary coordinates and produced a site map, including the location of all memorial stones in situ. We would like to express our thanks to the Royal Hospital for allowing us to host a small tea party where we were joined by our President, Lord Frederick Windsor, General Officer Commanding London District, and the Chairman of the Defence Select Committee amongst others.
Once we are free from Coronavirus, the plan is to return to the hospital where we will be organising a research project. Chelsea Pensioners and members of the public who are unemployed, socially-isolated, marginalised from mainstream society, who have suffered from life-altering injuries, poor mental health and trauma, and local schools will be asked to take part in a project that will try to discover more about the life-stories of some of the 10,000 people buried here. Please click the link to read the full report.